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“Spirit is the sword and experience the sharpening stone.” – Arab Proverb

This moment of zen brought to you by Instructables user carlbass. [Thanks, Carl!]


Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. tyler says:

    Is this just a pic showing off a sharp chisel or is there more coming soon with actual instructions? Maybe there is something wrong with my browser and I can’t see the instructions? I don’t know…

    1. tyler says:

      Didn’t realize you have to click through the link.

  2. figaro06 says:

    This is an awesome write up! Great piece of work and a great technique for sharpening a wood chisel. You can indeed but yourself easier with a dull knife, or chisel.

  3. Austringer says:

    If you’re going to play with tools, be serious about it all the time. Using a dull tool makes you work harder with greater chance for slippage and damage to your project or yourself but in exchange you get more tear our and crushing of the fibers you’re trying to cut.

    Besides, once you get it sharpened once, it’s a lot easier to keep it that way.

  4. Paul-G says:

    If you can find one I would STRONGLY recommend an Eclipse No 36 honing guide.

    I was given one and was amazed at how much it improved the quality and usability of my chisels and planes. Worth its weight in Gold.

  5. [...] MAKE] Hardware, How Tochisel, how to, instructables, sharpen, tools ← Rock n’ [...]

  6. skr says:

    The chisel in the picture is not “seriously” sharp. It should have a mirror finish on the bevel.